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Do you stretch and why?

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  • #31
    I wonder if a substantial pickle juice intake would help keep mosquitoes and blackflies away? But now we're way off topic...
    Where the extra Mg helped me was the kind of hiking where you get dizzy and irritable and cramp from heat, and where you drink 4L of gatorade with a tsp of salt in each liter before you take a 2 hour nap in the shade before you feel human again.
    46er #9404
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    • #32
      I never stretch, never have either. Played/raced all sorts of competitive sports in HS, college and after , from basketball to alpine skiing and triathlon. Only thing I always did though is to warm up/ease into it.

      I do believe research so far has demonstrated no reduction in injury from stretching. Maybe some gains for recovery. But I don't stretch for that, I roll on a pvc pipe

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      • #33
        I'm more of a trail runner than a hiker anymore. Rarely stretch I try to get to a yoga class once a week, use the foam roller after running. Get an integrative massage 2x a month and my masseuse incorporates stretching into the massage. I used to stretch all the time. Really do not see a difference.
        Carol

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        • #34
          Stretching is something that needs to be done on a regular basis to be effective. If you do that, you wont think twice about stretching anytime you feel the need, before, during, or after a hike. I stretch sitting in my office chair throughout the day. But Im old and if I don't stretch things tend to tighten up from the hips down and cause pain.

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          • #35
            I do not stretch before hiking and rarely do after (only if the hike was really hard).
            I can imagine myself stretching before, let's say, rock climbing or playing basketball but not before walking.

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            • #36
              I am a regular runner at moderate distances, typically 15-25 miles a week, depending upon the time of year/weather. I used to stretch before and after every run. Like a fool, I gutted my way through tweaks and aches and pains...right up until I shredded a hip flexor. After 3 months of pain and not hiking or running at all, I went for an easy hike on the Appalachian Trail in my neck of the woods (southcentral PA) and immediately blew out the hamstring on my other (good) leg within 5 minutes of going up the first uphill. After that abated a bit, I stretched easily for a few minutes a few times a day just to regain flexibility. The hamstring injury bugged me for two years, but not to the point that it was debilitating. Once I recovered, I adopted this routine before runs - I do a hula hoop rotation of my hips in both directions for 10-15 seconds, then I run. After my run I walk a quarter mile around my small block. I don't stretch afterward unless something feels particularly tight, and if I do, it's nothing more than a simple and easy hamstring and quad stretch for about 30 seconds on each leg, twice. Around the time I felt normal again I also shortened my running stride to resemble something like a very quick shuffle....as I think over-striding caused my original problem. With that combination, I've been completely injury-free for the last several years. I never stretch before hiking.

              This is what seems to work for me, your mileage may vary!

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              • #37
                I believe that stretching had therapeutic value when tight muscles affect body mechanics adversely and lead to compensatory mal-adaptations, wear and tear and pain. For hikers I think the most important muscles are the hip flexors (Iliopsoas and rectus femoris). Tightness of these muscles prevents hip extension, which in turn causes compensatory extension of the lower back (lumbar spine) with every step taken. I stretch these muscles 3 x 30 seconds whenever I go to the gym.
                1111111111

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                • Johnnycakes
                  Johnnycakes commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Well said Neil. My go to malady (not by choice) is piriformis syndrome. Sometimes, it sneaks up on me, but I can usually feel it coming and can prevent it with a good stretching routine. I'm surprised I don't hear more about piriformis syndrome on this forum, with all of the hikers and runners we have here. For me, it is important to do the piriformis stretches regularly (as part of a daily routine regardless of activity), and also after any lower body workouts or long hikes.

              • #38
                As a PT I'll tell you that stretching has value. That is without question. In regards to hiking your best bet is to walk a ways, stretch, continue on with hiking. Stretching cold is not a good thing.

                Stretching after a hike is good as well for active recovery

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                • #39
                  Originally posted by Natlife View Post
                  I never stretch, never have either. Played/raced all sorts of competitive sports in HS, college and after , from basketball to alpine skiing and triathlon. Only thing I always did though is to warm up/ease into it.

                  I do believe research so far has demonstrated no reduction in injury from stretching. Maybe some gains for recovery. But I don't stretch for that, I roll on a pvc pipe

                  This is "body tempering" If you like it, check out Donnie Thompson.

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                  • #40
                    I posted once in this thread (over a year ago!), so here is my broken record:

                    You 'youngins' may not see the value of stretching now, but eventually you will!

                    But I'm still a sample set of 1...
                    Tom Rankin - 5444W "In the depths of Summer, I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible Winter"

                    Proud Member #0003 of ADKHP Foundation
                    Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
                    Past President Catskill 3500 Club
                    CEO Views And Brews!

                    Trail maintainer for the Dry Brook Ridge trail from Mill Brook Road to just past the Lean-to

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                    • #41
                      Originally posted by TFR View Post
                      You 'youngins' may not see the value of stretching now, but eventually you will!
                      Fossil evidence gathered by paleo-anthropologists suggests that hunter-gathers stretched regularly. This is what enabled H. sapiens to eliminate the Neanderthals, who, tragically for them, never stretched.
                      1111111111

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                      • #42
                        Ouch...my post seemed to create a minor resurgence in this particular thread, and from having read many posts over the years, each of you would probably be able to walk me into the ground! I didn't mean to create that sort of fuss as a newbee poster.

                        I do think that having "warmed up" hip flexors has been critical to my (knocking on wood) several year period of being injury free. I'm 6'2" and lanky, so I think bad mechanics (over-striding) caused my issues in the first place. I do the exaggerated hula hoop warm up, then a 100 feet of walking, then I'm off running. I certainly don't tear it up when I run, but I'm usually in the mid to low 7s at least up to about 5-6 miles or so. Since I've condensed my stride, I've been healthy, though it did cause me to lose speed. I haven't felt much pain in the last few years, so I haven't had the urge to stretch very often. Having just typed all of that, on the verge of a trip to the High Peaks that I've been looking forward to for the last few months, I'll probably roll a friggin ankle tomorrow walking off the porch on the way to the grocery store!!!

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